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JAZZ ROCK/FUSION

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Jazz Rock/Fusion definition


  1. Jazz Fusion is jazz that is strongly influenced by other styles of music. Jazz fusion is an ambiguous term that provides the first level sub-set down from Jazz. Jazz rock is a sub-sub set from jazz via jazz fusion. The ambiguity comes from an American tendency through the 90's and until now, to freely interchange jazz rock and jazz fusion, when in fact the latter term covers most hybrids of jazz fused with other forms of music. The roots of jazz rock can be traced back to RnB influenced soul-jazz artists such as Les McCann, Grant Green and Jimmy Smith, and young British jazzers such as Graham Bond, Ginger Baker, John McLaughlin, Jack Bruce, Georgie Fame, who were forced to use electronic instruments because the local club's acoustic instruments were reserved for the older established jazz musicians. Probably the first jazz artists that released recordings that mixed modern rock (circa 60s) with jazz were Larry Coryell, Jeremy Steig, Charles Lloyd, The Soft Machine, and The (Jazz) Crusaders. Meanwhile rock artists such as Cream, Grateful Dead and The Jimi Hendrix Experience were getting a lot of publicity and fame with their lengthy improvisations based on blues, rock, psychedelia and some jazz. These rock artists had an impact on Miles Davis who generated a lot of media attention to this new jazz-rock genre with his Bitches Brew album. From there the genre grew and exploded into numerous different directions. One of these directions was brass rock as exemplified by bands like Dreams, Chicago, BS&T and If. These bands combined elements of jazz, rock and classical music with arrangements for brass and woodwinds.

  2. Many other styles of music have been combined with jazz to create fusion including traditional music from around the world, R'n'B, rock, electronic music and pop music and jazz from Africa, Latin America, India and other places. One of the earliest examples of the use of the term fusion comes from the Indo-jazz fusion of Joe Harriott and John Mayer. Some of the more popular early practitioners of fusion included Weather Report and Herbie Hancock's Sextant. A few years later Shakti appears on the scene and expands the boundaries of fusion further, foreshadowing the World Fusion movement of the 90's.

  3. In part Nu.jazz grew out of the British acid jazz scene of the late 80s and early 90s, whilst modern leaders of nu.fusion cite Miles Davis and Jon Hassell as the godfathers of the genre. As the genre began to develop it took on other influences such as world beat/jazz fusion, psychedelic trip-hop, post-rock and mixtures of ambience with modern jazz. The jazz with electronia experiments that Jon Hassell was conducting in the late 80's, with the likes of Eno, were to be a major influence especially on the dance side of nu.jazz, sometimes known as nu.fusion. Three main elements make nu.jazz different from the more traditional jazz (rock) fusion. First of all there is less of an emphasis on instrumental virtuosity in nu.jazz (especially nu.fusion). Second, more use of electronics (especially skilled turntablism) and studio trickery that emphasizes sound textures. Third, nu.jazz tends to use more modern rhythms such as drum'n'bass, hip-hop, post-rock, and various mixtures of world beat rhythms. Progressive nu.jazz artists such as Bugge Wesseltoft, Nils Petter Molvaer and the Esbj÷rn Svensson Trio (E.S.T.), combine complicated compositions with modern rhythms to create new unheard of soundscapes - while the former two are leaders of nu.fusion, and with more emphasis on jazz playing, EST have been the leaders in straighter nu.jazz. Nu.jazz is loosely connected to other newer jazz fusion genres, particularly the more progressive live, jazz jam bands such as Medeski Martin & Wood or Garaj Mahal. It may seem that the only difference between the two genres is the country the artist is from or what scene they came up through.li>

Only the most progressive of nu jazz, jazz-rock and fusion artists are listed on Progarchives, although accceptability or not here may vary from person to person. All artists have elements of progressive rock in their music (e.g. Jean Luc Ponty, Bill Bruford or David Sancious) or they represent the most forward-looking and progressive element in their genre (e.g. Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock or Weather Report). It should be noted that those many Canterbury jazz rock fusion bands, e.g. Soft Machine, Soft Works, Soft Heap, Soft Machine Legacy, Gilgamesh etc. are to be found under the CANTERBURY heading in Prog Archives.

Dick Heath
John 'Easy Money'
Martin 'Alucard' Horst
(Edition 3.2. Nov 2009)

Current Team Members as at 12/24/14

Evolver (Scott)
Man With Hat (Phil)
Darkshade (Mike)
historian9

Jazz Rock/Fusion Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Jazz Rock/Fusion | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.36 | 937 ratings
KIND OF BLUE
Davis, Miles
4.34 | 1179 ratings
BIRDS OF FIRE
Mahavishnu Orchestra
4.30 | 648 ratings
IN A SILENT WAY
Davis, Miles
4.28 | 615 ratings
ROMANTIC WARRIOR
Return To Forever
4.27 | 887 ratings
THE INNER MOUNTING FLAME
Mahavishnu Orchestra
4.28 | 526 ratings
SPECTRUM
Cobham, Billy
4.30 | 242 ratings
WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT LATER
Nucleus
4.25 | 637 ratings
BITCHES BREW
Davis, Miles
4.27 | 268 ratings
HIROMI'S SONICBLOOM: TIME CONTROL
Uehara, Hiromi
4.24 | 537 ratings
ABRAXAS
Santana
4.23 | 732 ratings
ELEGANT GYPSY
Di Meola, Al
4.23 | 653 ratings
CARAVANSERAI
Santana
4.37 | 87 ratings
THE COLOURS OF CHLO╦
Weber, Eberhard
4.30 | 138 ratings
STADACON╔
Sloche
4.26 | 236 ratings
LES PORCHES
Maneige
4.24 | 301 ratings
ENIGMATIC OCEAN
Ponty, Jean-Luc
4.27 | 185 ratings
TILT - IMMAGINI PER UN ORECCHIO
Arti e Mestieri
4.30 | 122 ratings
SVěT HLEDAčů
Blue Effect (Modrř Efekt; M. Efekt)
4.28 | 149 ratings
A BENEFIT OF RADIM HLAD═K [AKA: MODRŢ EFEKT & RADIM HLAD═K]
Blue Effect (Modrř Efekt; M. Efekt)
4.23 | 284 ratings
CROSSINGS
Hancock, Herbie
4.28 | 138 ratings
SVITANIE
Blue Effect (Modrř Efekt; M. Efekt)
4.22 | 347 ratings
VALENTYNE SUITE
Colosseum
4.25 | 187 ratings
MAIDEN VOYAGE
Hancock, Herbie
4.24 | 215 ratings
PAT METHENY GROUP: THE WAY UP
Metheny , Pat
4.52 | 37 ratings
TERJE RYPDAL
Rypdal, Terje
4.35 | 71 ratings
L'AXE DU FOU - AXIS OF MADNESS
Forgas Band Phenomena
4.25 | 147 ratings
MILESTONES
Davis, Miles
4.29 | 93 ratings
BIG FUN
Davis, Miles
4.23 | 158 ratings
HARAKKA BIALOIPOKKU [AKA: B THE MAGPIE]
Pohjola, Pekka
4.64 | 26 ratings
REALIZATION
Henderson, Eddie
4.39 | 52 ratings
QUALIA
Syrinx
4.19 | 296 ratings
HYMN OF THE SEVENTH GALAXY
Return To Forever
4.20 | 197 ratings
A TRIBUTE TO JACK JOHNSON
Davis, Miles
4.20 | 168 ratings
J'UN OEIL
Sloche
4.23 | 123 ratings
'ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT
Davis, Miles
4.23 | 114 ratings
MILES DAVIS QUINTET: MILES SMILES
Davis, Miles
4.20 | 158 ratings
MYSTICAL ADVENTURES
Ponty, Jean-Luc
4.42 | 40 ratings
THE HOOK
Tolonen, Jukka
4.23 | 116 ratings
PAT METHENY GROUP: OFFRAMP
Metheny , Pat
4.24 | 101 ratings
DEDALUS
Dedalus
4.58 | 25 ratings
Вижу Землю / LOOKING AT THE EARTH
Gunesh Ensemble
4.17 | 184 ratings
THE LOST TRIDENT SESSIONS
Mahavishnu Orchestra
4.24 | 85 ratings
DARK SHOT
One Shot
4.15 | 255 ratings
AJA
Steely Dan
4.30 | 59 ratings
LEB I SOL 2
Leb I Sol
4.17 | 174 ratings
WHAT IF
Dixie Dregs
4.30 | 57 ratings
AGITOR LUCENS V
Arco Iris
4.27 | 65 ratings
JAN HAMMER GROUP: OH,YEAH?
Hammer, Jan
4.15 | 205 ratings
FAIRYPORT
Wigwam
4.13 | 353 ratings
SANTANA
Santana
4.19 | 123 ratings
SECRET STORY
Metheny , Pat
4.14 | 217 ratings
WHERE HAVE I KNOWN YOU BEFORE
Return To Forever
4.35 | 45 ratings
SUDAM╔RICA - O EL REGRESO A LA AURORA
Arco Iris
4.37 | 40 ratings
SPEAK NO EVIL
Shorter, Wayne
4.25 | 70 ratings
ORGANIK
Niacin
4.25 | 66 ratings
DEDICATED TO YOU, BUT YOU WEREN'T LISTENING
Tippett Group, The Keith
4.11 | 323 ratings
UNORTHODOX BEHAVIOUR
Brand X
4.20 | 90 ratings
PIHKASILM─ KAARNAKORVA
Pohjola, Pekka
4.28 | 52 ratings
FABULIS MIRABILIBUS DE BOMBYCOSI SCRIPTIS
Kenso
4.59 | 21 ratings
AD PERPETUUM
Fafard, Antoine
4.11 | 289 ratings
BRUFORD: ONE OF A KIND
Bruford, Bill
4.17 | 107 ratings
PAT METHENY & LYLE MAYS: AS FALLS WICHITA, SO FALLS WICHITA FALLS
Metheny , Pat
4.23 | 65 ratings
RAHMANN
Rahmann
4.21 | 76 ratings
ALMA DE DIAMANTE
Spinetta Jade
4.13 | 172 ratings
QUANTUM
Planet X
4.26 | 56 ratings
EWAZ VADER
One Shot
4.13 | 170 ratings
SEXTANT
Hancock, Herbie
4.18 | 91 ratings
VIOLATO INTATTO
Accordo Dei Contrari
4.19 | 82 ratings
IND═GENA
Mar De Robles
4.18 | 88 ratings
LAMBERTLAND
Tasavallan Presidentti
4.19 | 82 ratings
SENTIMENTS
Iceberg
4.21 | 69 ratings
FERM┴TA
Fermata
4.27 | 50 ratings
CRNA DAMA [AKA: BLACK LADY]
Smak
4.12 | 160 ratings
VISITATION
Pohjola, Pekka
4.22 | 63 ratings
BELIEVE IT
Williams Lifetime, Tony
4.32 | 39 ratings
UOMA
Uzva
4.11 | 165 ratings
CHICAGO [AKA: CHICAGO II]
Chicago
4.39 | 30 ratings
DIUMENGE
Companyia ElŔctrica Dharma
4.18 | 77 ratings
4TH
D.F.A.
4.12 | 126 ratings
MANEIGE
Maneige
4.55 | 20 ratings
BAREFOOT BOY
Coryell, Larry
4.08 | 234 ratings
BLOW BY BLOW
Beck, Jeff
4.68 | 16 ratings
GUILLAUME PERRET & THE ELECTRIC EPIC
Perret & The Electric Epic, Guillaume
4.18 | 72 ratings
STRAIGHT TO THE KRANKENHAUS
Secret Oyster
4.44 | 25 ratings
THE FOLLOWING MORNING
Weber, Eberhard
4.13 | 111 ratings
MILES DAVIS QUINTET: NEFERTITI
Davis, Miles
4.18 | 68 ratings
CONTRE-COURANT
Opus-5
4.12 | 118 ratings
EROTIC CAKES
Govan, Guthrie
4.20 | 57 ratings
LOS ELEMENTALES
Arco Iris
4.07 | 247 ratings
MOROCCAN ROLL
Brand X
4.09 | 143 ratings
METAL FATIGUE
Holdsworth, Allan
4.15 | 81 ratings
WATERCOLORS
Metheny , Pat
4.22 | 50 ratings
RUCNI RAD
Leb I Sol
4.11 | 112 ratings
HUASCARAN
Fermata
4.25 | 42 ratings
MORNING SUN
Caplan, Gadi
4.08 | 156 ratings
MASQUES
Brand X
4.20 | 54 ratings
AFREAKA!
Demon Fuzz
4.37 | 27 ratings
MUNDO FLOTANTE
Ontalva, ┴ngel
4.43 | 23 ratings
RITES
Garbarek, Jan
4.06 | 186 ratings
THE CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY
Chicago

Jazz Rock/Fusion overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Jazz Rock/Fusion experts team

AGHARTA
Davis, Miles
LAWRENCE OF NEWARK
Young, Larry
SUPER FLY T.N.T
Osibisa
CRNA DAMA [AKA: BLACK LADY]
Smak

Latest Jazz Rock/Fusion Music Reviews


 Den Za Den by DEN ZA DEN album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.79 | 26 ratings

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Den Za Den
Den Za Den Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I'll see if I can get this review in before the power goes out again. DEN ZA DEN were a Jazz/Fusion band out of Yugoslavia releasing this one album back in 1980. I guess I'm the one dissenting voice here as this just hasn't clicked with me surprisingly, being that I'm a huge fan of of Jazz/Fusion. The cover art is insane, I really like it. This is a high energy band like MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA and ICEBERG to give a couple of examples but to me there's no comparison when it comes to the compositions and musicians. Many rave about how great these guys play but I feel they are a step down from the two bands I just mentioned. The drummer is relentless but man Cobham eats him up, in fact the drummer with DEN ZA DEN gets on my nerves after a while. He did play with LEB I SOL but left before ever recording with them and the guy who replaced him is better in my opinion.

"Svadba" is all over the place early on and fast paced. Impressive for sure, very intricate too. It settles down 3 minutes in with some upfront guitar but picks right back up as the guitar lights it up, not for long though. "Galeb" quickly becomes guitar, piano, bass and drums. It settles a minute in with piano, bass and sporadic drums. The guitar takes the lead after 2 minutes. "Ciganka" opens with drums before synths, guitar, piano and bass join in. Fast paced but I'm not into this. Piano to the fore after a minute then the guitar is back pretty much to the end.

"Zedj" opens with piano before the drums and more kick in. Again this is fast paced with those relentless drums, synths too. A much better sound with those synths after a minute. The guitar is shredding after 2 minutes. "Fata Morgana" is one of my favourites along with the closing track. This reminds me somewhat of "Meeting Of The Spirits" to start as we get some space and room to breathe for a change. That does change after a minute as the guitar solos over the bass and drums. Keys lead after 1 1/2 minutes and again high energy stuff takes over before 2 1/2 minutes. I love the first half of this one though.

"Coker Ritam" is a one minute drum solo. "A Bila Je Tako Draga" has laid back piano as the guitar and a laid back beat arrive. Synths before 1 1/2 minutes then it picks up some with the guitar leading. A nice change of pace here. "Letnja Ljubav" features the guitar and synths trading off over the bass and drums. "Vodopad" has the band just ripping it up before it settles into a groove with synths, drums and bass. The guitar comes in over top, piano too. Tons of energy here.

"Jutro I Noc" has some shimmering sounds as the piano, bass then guitar come and go. It picks up quickly to an uptempo sound but it is all over the place. I like the relaxed piano led section after 2 minutes though. "Tako Treba" is my favourite song on here and the closer. And what a closer it is! The contrasts between the high energy and more laid back sections is what makes this so good.

I didn't even like this early on in my listening of it but it did grow on me, just not nearly enough to want to venture into 4 star territory. 3 cold stars.

 Volume One by SHAMPOO album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Volume One
Shampoo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars There are a few reviewers out there that I respect who rate this quite highly but for my tastes I can't go any higher than the 3 stars. SHAMPOO were from Belgium and released this one album back in 1972. A six piece band with four seasoned musicians who had played previously in bands like MAD CURRY, THE PEBBLES and NEW INSPIRATION. Many tag this as Canterbury along with Jazz/ Rock because of the silliness I suppose. We get two sax players often playing together and the vocals are primarily in English.

"Brother" is a poppy track unlike the rest of the album. It's bright and uptempo and kind of silly with plenty of sax, vocals and piano. It actually reminds me of Neal Morse's more poppy tunes surprisingly. "Keep The Day Cool" is classical sounding to start before turning into an uptempo horn driven tune, although it is all over the place early on. It settles when the vocals arrive after 1 1/2 minutes. Catchy but like the opener I'm just not into it. Nice bass with keyboards before 3 minutes though. I like this as the sax joins in then the chorus returns. An extended instrumental section follows with lots of dual sax.

"Some Reason" is the longest song at 11 minutes. Now this sounds really good. A more serious sound with sax, drums and bass standing out. It settles right down with vocals before 3 minutes. The vocals are too sugary if you know what I mean. It kicks back in around 4 1/2 minutes as the vocals step aside and we get some rare guitar. This is an uptempo section with no sax until 6 minutes in. High pitched vocals follow. I like this. Horns end this passage before 8 minutes then a completely new section takes over sounding very classical. The sax are back late.

"Summer" opens in an impressive manner with with drums, bass, sax and organ, some guitar too. Nice bass solo 2 minutes in then the vocals arrive as it settles with organ, sax and drums. I'm not as into this but the instrumental work continues to impress. "Hot Dog" is catchy with vocals to start. An organ solo after 1 1/2 minutes then the sax, drums and more join in. This is good. Back to the vocals and silliness 2 1/2 minutes in as themes are repeated. Dual sax late to end it.

"Hurry Up" is a 9 minute tune with an uptempo instrumental start. A calm before a minute then it builds with dual sax and more. A drum solo follows that I find quite lack lustre and it lasts for almost 6 minutes! The final minute of the song is good though but overall a disappointment. "My Sweet Honeybee" ends it and while I like the instrumental work and almost spoken vocals the lyrics are pretty bad in my opinion.

Worth checking for sure and it seems opinions are pretty divided over this one.

 Whenever I Seem To Be Far Away by RYPDAL, TERJE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.92 | 28 ratings

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Whenever I Seem To Be Far Away
Terje Rypdal Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars This was the second Terje Rypdal album I bought, in 1994, after Odyssey. This album clearly explores two different paths. The first half is very much fusion, with Mellotron rearing its head from time to time. In 1994 I had no idea who Pete Knutsen was. I was aware of Popol Vuh from buying Tangerine Dream's Zeit around that time (never heard of them until then), but totally unaware there was also a Norwegian band with that name, and Pete Knutsen was a member (or that the Norwegian band changed their name to Popol Ace to avoid any further confusion). Anyway Knutsen was responsible for the electric piano and Mellotron. Only being familiar with Odyssey at the time, the music was more energetic and less spacy. Then comes the title track, takes up all of side two. This is clearly in the Third Stream. The SŘdfunk Symphony Orchestra helps with Terje providing guitar, but there's no band help, just Terje and the orchestra. If you're familiar with the Third Stream style, this is pretty typical, heavily influenced by classical. It has a rather eerie feel to it. Not everyone will go for the title track, but certainly fusion fans will dig side one without problem.
 Terje Rypdal by RYPDAL, TERJE album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.52 | 37 ratings

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Terje Rypdal
Terje Rypdal Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402

5 stars I've was first made aware of Terje Rypdal in 1992. I bought Odyssey in 1993 and Whenever I Seem to be Far Away in 1994, but it was only very recent that I bought more of his albums (probably because I was concentrating on collecting stuff from other artists). It was only with the advent of the Internet that I was able to find out what he released before What Comes After, and that's Bleak House in 1968 on Polydor, which is extremely hard to find as an original, and this self-entitled ECM debut (he's already appeared on a few ECM albums in 1970/'71, this is his first simply billed as Terje Rypdal). He gets plenty of help, like Jon Christensen (as he seems to be a Rypdal regular), Jan Garbarek, Arild Andersen, Inger Lise Rypdal (Terje's wife at the time), Tom Halversen, Bj°rnar Andresen, Bobo Stenson, and Eckehard Fintl. Of course Jan Garbarek and Aril Andersen had made names for themselves, and we know Inger Lise Rypdal's relation to Terje, not to mention Jon Christensen appearing on many of Terje's other albums, some of the musicians seem to be very obscure (Eckehard Fintl, for example) as I can't seem to dig much info on them.

Having been familiar with several of his other (more famous) 1970s albums including Odyssey, I'm so happy to get this early release. It's one of those albums I wished I owned back in when I first heard of him, but that one was hard to find (as many early ECM titles). "Keep it Like That - Tight" tends to use that post-Bitches Brew fusion format here, with lots of similarities (one commented Terje should have replaced John McLaughlin in Miles Davis' band). It starts off pretty calm, but it picks up steam towards the end. "Rainbow" really trips me out. Clearly in the Third Stream, it's basically a very eerie orchestral number sounds like a jazz version of Tangerine Dream's Zeit, it has that similar sinister otherworldly feel. It really trips me out, and in fact I wished this was how side two of Whenever I Seem to Be Far Away was more like. "Electric Fantasy" is pretty tripped out fusion , especially those wordless female voices from Lise. "Lontano II" is another really strange and eerie piece, while "Tough Enough" is a bit more bluesy, almost a Bleak House throwback, but with that contemporary (for 1971) sound. Odyssey may be his best known work, but I feel this 1971 album is actually his best one, and one of the best ECM releases alongside John Abercrombie's Timeless and Julian Priester's Love, Love. Truly one of his most trippy albums. Like I said, an album I wished I knew of and owned back in the early '90s. Great stuff that I highly recommend.

 Fusion by WIDEMANN, BENOIT album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.95 | 3 ratings

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Fusion
Benoit Widemann Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars So we get the founding member of MAGMA on drums, Christian Vander of course along with three former MAGMA members. Benoit Widemann on Fender Rhodes, Minimoog, electronics and synths, Jannick Top on bass and Didier Lockwood on violin all playing Jazz Fusion as the title of this album suggests. All four were involved in composing the music which is all instrumental. The thing I was most looking forward to with this release was hearing Vander play in the Jazz/ Fusion style. Yes MAGMA has that jazzy touch given Vander was such a huge John Coltrane fan and you just need to hear their debut especially to acknowledge that but this is straight up Fusion for the most part and he does play differently. Not as adventerous or as impressive as his work with his own band but man I love his intricate style here. I will be using the word "intricate" a lot when describing his drumming.

The album cover makes me laugh for some reason, it was everybody wear what you want for the photo shoot today(haha). I also have to say Top plays differently too although he uses some fuzz on that last track and briefly plays in the Zeuhl style. We get started with the mammoth 24 minute "GHK Go To Miles" which opens with experimental sounds from Widemann that sort of pulse with atmosphere in between. This goes on quietly for a minute then it kicks in with synths, drums, electric piano and bass. Lots of intricate sounds here with violin over top. Check out Vander though with those punchy and precise beats. I'm so into this sound.

Some jazzy bass after 4 1/2 minutes then after 5 minutes it's drums, electric piano and bass only then the synths return after 5 1/2 minutes, again check out Vander! I like the Fender Rhodes after 8 1/2 minutes then it settles at 9 1/2 minutes with pretty much synths and drums before it picks up again. Interesting sound 14 1/2 minutes with those cascading sounds followed by a calm after 15 minutes as bass and atmosphere take over. Drums will eventually join in quietly and it's quite peaceful here. The synths are back after 19 minutes. We're rocking out now after 21 minutes with violin, drums, bass and synths. Oh my! It ends like it began. What a song!

"Overdrive" opens with a car revving it's engine then it takes off as this funky rhythm kicks in with synths over top. Violin replaces the synths around a minute. I like this. The tempo picks up before 2 minutes but then settles back quickly. Synths replace the violin after 3 minutes to the end.

"767 ZX6" has this relaxed sound of bass, electric piano and drums as the violin comes in over top in a laid back manner. It kicks in to an uptempo groove after 1 1/2 minutes. Lots of energy here. The violin stops after 3 1/2 minutes as minimoog replaces it and the bass and drums continue. The bass is jazzy then the song ends as it began.

"Relief" is spacey to begin with as Fender Rhodes, a beat then bass joins in. Very mellow. I'm reminded of Zeuhl with the electric piano after a minute. The drums become more prominent 2 minutes in and the bass is growly too. It's still relaxed as the violin comes in briefly. It kicks in after 2 1/2 minutes. Love that fuzzed out bass. And it's so freaking good after 4 minutes. Check out Vander! It settles right down 5 minutes with those spacey synths and Fender Rhodes as the sound from the intro returns. It does pick back up and yes that drumming is so good, so intricate and punchy. Violin late then synths end it.

Easily 4 stars and one I'm going to enjoy for a long time I hope. One of my favs as well for 1981, although not in my top ten.

 Golden Days by BRUCE, JACK album cover DVD/Video, 2011
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Golden Days
Jack Bruce Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars At least right now this is the only Jack Bruce DVD in ProgArchives. This late great artist made a massive solo output after being bassist, singer and the central song-writer of the sixties' power trio CREAM. I have a few of his albums (originally received for reviewing) plus a compilation featuring also some Cream tracks, but frankly I'm quite far from being a dedicated fan or connoisseur. I probably wouldn't have bought this DVD, but I had enough interest for it to borrow it from a library. It falls firmly into the category of "one viewing is enough, thank you". In other words it was a bit boring to watch.

The DVD of approximately three hours' length features two separate concerts from the German "Rockpalast" series, Essen 1980 and Cologne 1990. The first one is a band effort. Jack Bruce sings and plays bass, Clem Clempson's on guitar, David Sancious on keyboards (and on guitar occasionally) and Billy Cobham on drums. I don't know Clempson, but Sancious and Cobham are excellent musicians of the fusion genre. Sadly Bruce's compositions are, from that point of view, of smaller calibre musically. Most notably Sancious offers some glimpses into that direction on this very song-oriented set. There are some Cream classics (such as 'White Room' and 'Sunshine of Your Love'), and of Bruce's solo output it was 'Theme for an Imaginary Western' from his excellent debut album Songs for a Tailor (1969) that most rang the bell for me. As a whole I personally didn't find the 15-piece set so impressive. Some songs were actually quite uninteresting. Visually the concert doesn't offer anything special, the light show is poor and the camera work concentrates on Bruce close-ups more than necessary. But don't take my negative remarks too literally: for a more dedicated Jack Bruce listener this is a pretty good concert.

Ten years later Jack Bruce gave an unaccompanied solo performance in Cologne, playing only piano. This wasn't the first time for me to notice how well his composition skills bend to the keyboards-only approach. If he's not a virtuoso Ó la Rick Wakeman, at least his piano playing is completely satisfactory in making the songs alive, bursting with emotion. Of course the set itself is also more emotional than the band gig in Essen. Intimate, down-to-earth light and camera work also suit better for this set.

There's a crowded band interview in which also German is spoken without subtexts. That's a pretty lousy extra. Despite the slight cheapie nature - and myself being occasionally a bit bored during the band gig - I regard this DVD worth 3 stars.

 Masques by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.08 | 156 ratings

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Masques
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Of the three solid albums Brand X kicked off their studio career with, Masques might be the most traditional in its fusion temperaments, with a style reminiscent of Weather Report or Pierre Moerlen's Gong. Still, as far as albums of this style go, it's quite decent. Don't let the cover fool you - the world music influences of Moroccan Roll are largely absent here, as is Phil Collins (business having perked up for Genesis), with Chuck Burgi filling in on the drumstool whilst Peter Robinson of Quatermass fame steps into the keyboard role. What they deliver is more directly rocky and straight-ahead than the more unorthodox behaviour registered on previous albums. One for serious fusion fans mostly.
 The Aura Will Prevail by DUKE,GEORGE album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.95 | 13 ratings

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The Aura Will Prevail
George Duke Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by SonomaComa1999

2 stars REVIEW #2 - "The Aura Will Prevail" by George Duke (1975). 5/6/2018

Coming off my first review of Zappa's 1974 "Apostrophe" album, I was particularly struck by the song "Uncle Remus" from that album. The song was written by both Zappa and pianist George Duke, who was born just thirty miles south of where I live in San Rafael, California. Given how Eurocentric the progressive rock genre is as a whole, I found it exciting to be able to review a local artist. Duke's solo work lives entirely in the realm of jazz fusion, in the vein of Jean-Luc Ponty or Weather Report. My first exposure to fusion was when I began collecting LPs in the winter of 2014. I used to comb all of the local thrift shops in my hometown of Petaluma, searching for listenable records to test out on my cheap $60 console turntable that I bought at Target. One store in particular in the heart of the city was partly run by a man who sold his own records and would give me weekly recommendations as to what I should listen to.

It was thanks to this man that I was introduced to King Crimson as a 15-year old kid, as well as other pioneering prog rock bands such as Yes, Genesis, and even Van der Graaf Generation. Better yet, he recommended a lot of jazz fusion albums to me which I promptly put into my collection, even though they never got as much airtime as "Close to the Edge" or "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". I was introduced to Ponty, Weather Report, Return to Forever and many more - so jazz fusion does hold a place in my heart. George Duke was a prolific songwriter, releasing numerous albums over his musical career in addition to working with guys like Zappa. I chose his 1975 album "The Aura Will Prevail" since it contains his own cover of the aforementioned Zappa work "Uncle Remus."

The album opens up with the instrumental fusion staple "Dawn". Apart from being a mellow and open tune, it is a rather generic example of what fusion brings to the table. It has a solid main theme, and makes use of the synthesizer quite heavily - something which is gonna be a recurrent theme on this album. We move away from the traditional realm of fusion and into the more commercially friendly and lyrical "For Love (I Come Your Friend)" which is just too sugary for my tastes, although I do admit I woke up this morning with the chorus in my head, so I suppose the song does a great job in that regard. It is a fast-paced poppy love tune featuring Duke on lead vocals - it is by no means progressive in any way. Another reviewer on this site noted how the music on this album is bordering on "easy-listening" status, which I wholeheartedly come to agree with as we inch closer and closer to the end of mainstream prog. Here in Sonoma, we would hear this type of music on the soft jazz 93.7FM rather than the classic rock/occasional prog 97.7FM which I indulge in.

"Foosh" doesn't do any better to break the monotony with its mellow and somewhat mischievous tempo. Following "For Love" dead in the middle of the first side, it seems like it was intended to serve as a prelude to the longer and more prominent "Floop De Loop" which is by far the most musically challenging piece of the album. Coming in at 6:43, Duke and his band make better use of their musical talents to appease the more radical prog listener. However, the entire piece just does not resonate with me, meaning it is all too forgettable for my tastes, despite it being what I would consider a decent instrumental showcase. I tried to recall the musical motifs after listening to the entire album numerous times, but I could not come away with anything more than the group playing a long instrumental that was a bit more complex than the rest of the album. At this point, it seems like this album would only be fit for a completionist, but fortunately we still have not come across the "Uncle Remus" cover which I thought might be able to salvage the album.

Opening up the second side of "The Aura Will Prevail" is "Malibu", which features a bit more of a Latin influence, with some exotic percussion and wordless vocals supported by a rather nice-sounding bassline. For some reason this style reminded me a little bit of one of the songs that came off of Camel's debut album, even though I attributed that connection to being a total fluke. As for the song in its entirety, it is another pretty generic fusion staple similar to the album's opener, and while it is not bad per se, it is altogether forgettable just like the rest of the album. "Fools" is another poppy vocal piece which turned me away right after I got into the groove of the album's Latin fusion style. Another reviewer proclaimed that this song was better off found on a Barry White album, which gave me a good laugh - however, I kind of agree with him, as this song veers off the track of prog with "For Love". I'm not saying that his song is awful - both the pop offerings are catchy in their own right, but given I am looking for musically challenging material on a fusion album, I feel almost cheated as Duke moves off into the mainstream midway through the decade. I could see my grandfather, who is a devout listener of R&B and soul having grown up in San Francisco and Oakland in the 1950s through 1970s, listening to this music more than I, and he absolutely detests rock and roll.

The next two songs on the album are pretty intriguing; they are both covers of Frank Zappa songs. Of course, "Uncle Remus" is the latter, but Duke puts the instrumental "Echidna's Arf" on this album, which was a bit surprising. I was actually rather excited to see what Duke would do on this piece given it is a rather fast-paced composition that Zappa played with the Mothers of Invention. On this album, it starts off at a breakneck pace but to my horror, it devolves into a space-rock tier synthesizer showcase which hardly continues on the themes of the piece when played in Zappa's band. In fact, it actually disappointed me that Duke took this route with the song, given that there was an opportunity to go in many positive directions with the piece. Fortunately "Echidna's Arf" isn't a long song being only 3:35, and it feels like Duke is trying to make this one another prelude into "Uncle Remus", which totally feels wrong. First of all, Duke's rendition of "Remus" is much softer and balladic than Zappa's 1974 version, and the spacey introduction does not segue well into it at all. That being said, the cover which I had so long awaited turns out to be the distinct highlight of the album, with Duke not going overboard on the pitch of his vocals; keeping it brisk and cool, which works much better. I feel that if the entire album followed this theme, it would have warranted a better reception. However, I still prefer the original's fast pace, backing vocals, and brutal guitar solo coda. This version is better listened to in a melancholy atmosphere, while you can rock out to Zappa's version.

There is a small closing piece titled "The Aura" but it is moreover a continuation of the fusion themes seen on "Dawn" and "Malibu". Otherwise, that is really it from this album, which I can sum up as mediocre. The only real saving grace for this album from being a one-star is the "Remus" cover which is memorable and listenable. George Duke was a very talented pianist and had a great role in Zappa's band, as well as a prolific solo career, but his 1975 offering just comes off as a generic and forgettable fusion record. I could justify devout fans of the fusion genre being somewhat interested in the rest of the contents on this LP, but overall I think that we all come to this record to listen to Duke's rendition of two Zappa works - it gets a 2-star (63% D-) from me, one song away from being a wash. Only listen for "Uncle Remus", and that's if you're a fan of more mellow music.

 Barefoot Boy by CORYELL, LARRY album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.55 | 20 ratings

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Barefoot Boy
Larry Coryell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is my favourite Larry Coryell album. It reminds me a lot of what Miles was doing at this time in 1971 with all that percussion but we get sax instead of trumpet. We get three long tracks over the 40 plus minutes. A five piece with a percussionist, drummer and congas player while Larry offers up some amazing guitar work and we get both soprano and tenor sax. We also get two guests adding piano and bass. The other albums Larry plays on that I really like are ET CETERA's "Knirsch" recording along with the first two Eleventh House recordings. He has such a big discography but those early to mid seventies records that he's on are my favourites. I should also mention the two albums he did with Steve Smith in the late nineties.

"Gypsy Queen" is actually a cover of a Gabor Szabo song that was originally five minutes long but Larry increases it here to almost 12 minutes. I haven't heard the original by this influential Hungarian Jazz guitarist. It opens with percussions and drums as the soprano sax comes in over top. Man I'm so into this type of music. That sax is incredible and adventerous as well. Is that guitar before 5 minutes! Oh my! Soon Coryell is ripping it up a minute later after those experimental guitar expressions. The sax is back a minute later having stepped aside for the guitar and here he is lighting it up big time, complete chaos. Drums and percussions only 10 1/2 minutes in but the guitar returns to end it. What a song!

"The Great Escape" opens with honking soprano sax and a catchy beat with bass. Hard not to bop around to this one. The guitar replaces the sax before a minute. The sax is back after 3 1/2 minutes as the guitar continues but it takes a back seat. The guitar is back to the forefront at 7 minutes as the sax steps aside to the end.

"Call To The Higher Consciousness" is the side long 20 minute closer. I like that we get some electric piano on this one. Quite the dramatic opening with guitar, sax and fast paced piano melodies. It settles in at 1/2 minutes and this reminds me of NUCLEUS. It's so uplifting for me hearing the electric piano, drums and tenor sax. The sax will start to become the focus playing over top. The guitar is back before 5 minutes but the sax still dominates here until stepping aside around 5 1/2 minutes as the guitar becomes the focus. The piano is back after 7 1/2 minutes as the guitar steps aside. It all stops before 10 minutes as we get that drum solo lasting until before 14 minutes when the guitar and sax return. This sounds like the intro and it also will settle into a groove after 15 minutes like before as themes are repeated. An amazing tune!

Without question one of my favourite albums from 1971 and that's saying something.

 Criptoidea by MASS MEDIA album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Criptoidea
Mass Media Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mass Media can be considered an obscure band from Italy in the '70 with great potential but the final result of a studio album saw the day only in 2007 named Criptoidea. Before this album they release Opacita oscura , a collection of live songs from 1978. So, Mass Media joined together after many years and Criptoidea was issued. This is a fantastic progressive jazz rock relase with catchy passages with top notch musicianship. All pieces has a '70 flavour with references from ELP, PFM, Arti e Mesteri, Brand X with a clear italian atmosphere. Also the final piece Suite del ringraziamento is dedicated to the masters Bach, Mozart, Bernstein, etc All in all a really intresting release this release, totaly unknown to prog listners. Excellent aswell the art work.4 stars for sure, love it.
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Jazz Rock/Fusion bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
3RD WORLD ELECTRIC Multi-National
4 FRONT United States
7 FOR 4 Germany
EIVIND AARSET Norway
JOHN ABERCROMBIE United States
ABLUTION Sweden
ABRAXIS Belgium
ABUS DANGEREUX France
ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI Italy
ADDISON PROJECT Canada
AERA Germany
AFROSKULL United States
AGHARTA Canada
AGORA Italy
AIN SOPH Japan
AKA MOON Belgium
JAN AKKERMAN Netherlands
AL DI MEOLA - MCLAUGHLIN - PACO DE LUCIA Multi-National
ALAS Argentina
ALKEMY France
ALKOTRIO Russia
ALTRUISMOS Argentina
AMARILLO CIAN Y MAGENTA Costa Rica
AMIGDALA Italy
ANAMORPHOSE France
ANANGA RANGA Portugal
ANIMUS TRIO Argentina
APOSTOLIS ANTHIMOS Poland
ANTIH╔ROE Argentina
ANWKOZIK France
APOTHECARY United States
AQUARELLE Canada
ARATTA REBIRTH Armenia
ARCANA United States
ARCHIMEDES BADKAR Sweden
ARCO IRIS Argentina
NEIL ARDLEY United Kingdom
ARENA Australia
BRUCE ARNOLD United States
ARSENAL Russia
ARTI E MESTIERI Italy
TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC Yugoslavia
ASCORBIC ACID Russia
ASSOCIATION P.C. Multi-National
ASSOLO DI BONGO Italy
ASTRAKAN United Kingdom
ASTRO CAN CARAVAN Finland
ATMOSPHERES Multi-National
ATTENTION DEFICIT United States
BRIAN AUGER United Kingdom
AUM Brazil
AURORA United States
AVANT GARDEN United States
AVIOLINEE UTOPIA Italy
AXIS Greece
AYERS ROCK Australia
AZIGZA United States
B F Estonia
BAALBEK Argentina
BACK DOOR United Kingdom
BADDY BAND Bulgaria
BAKMAK Germany
BANDHADA Chile
BANDVIVIL Japan
BANGTOWER Multi-National
PETER BANKS United Kingdom
BARCELONA TRACTION Spain
PETER BARDENS' MIRAGE United Kingdom
IL BARICENTRO Italy
RANJIT BAROT India
BAUHAUS Italy
JEFF BECK United Kingdom
BEDJABETCH France
BELLA BAND Italy
BEN United Kingdom
BERITS HALSBAND Sweden
ALESSANDRO BERTONI Italy
BIFURCATA Mexico
BLACK LADDER United States
ALAIN BLESING France
CARLA BLEY United States
BLIXT Multi-National
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BLUE DRIFT United Kingdom
BLUE EFFECT (MODRŢ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) Czech Republic
BLUE SUN Denmark
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CELINE BONACINA France
BONFIRE Netherlands
BOSQUE Serbia
BOUD DEUN United States
BOUNTY United States
GARY BOYLE United Kingdom
BOZON United States
BOZZIO LEVIN STEVENS United States
BRAINCHILD United Kingdom
BRAINSTORM Germany
BRAND X United Kingdom
THE BRECKER BROTHERS United States
EVAN BREWER United States
NILI BROSH United States
BROTHER APE Sweden
BROWN VS BROWN Netherlands
JACK BRUCE United Kingdom
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BILL BRUFORD'S EARTHWORKS United Kingdom
BILL BRUFORD United Kingdom
CHRIS BUCK United States
DEWA BUDJANA Indonesia
BURNIN' RED IVANHOE Denmark
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BWANA Nicaragua
CAB United States
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JORGE CAMPOS Chile
FRANCIS CANG Philippines
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ALAIN CARON Canada
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CHAMELEON Sweden
CHASE United States
CHEIRO DE VIDA Brazil
CHICAGO United States
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CHUTE LIBRE France
CINCINNATO Italy
CIRCUS United Kingdom
CIVILIANS United States
CLAREON United States
STANLEY CLARKE United States
NELS CLINE United States
BILLY COBHAM United States
ORNETTE COLEMAN & PRIME TIME United States
STEVE COLEMAN United States
COLOSSEUM United Kingdom
COLOSSEUM II United Kingdom
COMA Denmark
COMPANYIA EL╚CTRICA DHARMA Spain
CONFUSION Greece
BILL CONNORS United States
CONTEMPORARY NOISE SEXTET / QUARTET / QUINTET Poland
GIANFRANCO CONTINENZA Italy
CONTINUUM Multi-National
CONTREVENT Canada
CONTUSION Argentina
COPERNICUS CROW United States
COPIOUS United States
CHICK COREA ELEKTRIC BAND United States
CORONARIAS DANS Denmark
LARRY CORYELL United States
CURT CRESS Germany
CRIMSON JAZZ TRIO United States
DAVID CROSS United Kingdom
CRY FREEDOM Germany
CRYPTO Netherlands
CYKLUS Germany
CYMANDE Multi-National
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D.F.A. Italy
DARK Multi-National
MILES DAVIS United States
KOEN DE BRUYNE Belgium
LOUIS DE MIEULLE France
DEDALUS Italy
DEFUNKT United States
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DEMON FUZZ South Africa
DEN ZA DEN Yugoslavia
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DEUS EX MACHINA Italy
AL DI MEOLA United States
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DIVJE JEZERO Slovenia
DIXIE DREGS United States
DJABE Hungary
DJAMRA Japan
DOGG MANSION United States
DON GATO Peru
VIRGIL DONATI Australia
DOUBT United Kingdom
BOB DOWNES' OPEN MUSIC United Kingdom
DR. DOPO JAM Denmark
RIENTS DRAAISMA Netherlands
MLADEN DRAGOVIC Serbia
DRAW THE SKY France
DREAMS United States
DROBAN-APHERNA Portugal
DUELLO MADRE Italy
JOEL DUGRENOT France
GEORGE DUKE United States
DZAMBLE Poland
E MOTIVE United States
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EDGE United Kingdom
EDITION SP╔CIALE France
EDO Canada
EELA CRAIG Austria
ELECTRIC OUTLET Germany
ELECTROMAGNETS United States
ELEPHANT9 Norway
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EMBRYO Germany
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ENERGIT Czech Republic
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ERGO United States
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ETNA Italy
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EYES OF ETHEREA Australia
EYOT Serbia
EZOO Multi-National
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THE FENTS United States
FERMATA Slovakia
FICTION United States
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FINNFOREST Finland
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A FISH'S DIVING SUIT Germany
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FLAMENGO Czech Republic
FLAT 122 Japan
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GARLIC Italy
ROBERT GENCO Italy
GENRE United States
GHOST RHYTHMS France
IAN GILLAN BAND United Kingdom
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GIS MAJ ES Serbia
CHRISTOPHE GODIN France
GOLD United States
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GOZZOZO France
GRAND GENERAL Norway
LE GRAND NEBULEUX France
JACQUES LA GRECA France
GRIMACE FEDERATION United States
GRITS United States
MUCK GROH Germany
GROTESK Germany
GROUP 87 United States
THE GROUP Finland
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WLODZIMIERZ GULGOWSKI Poland
GUNESH ENSEMBLE Turkmenistan
GURTH Spain
JUKKA GUSTAVSON Finland
VASIL HADZIMANOV BAND Serbia
MARY HALVORSON United States
JAN HAMMER United States
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HANSFORD ROWE COLLECTIVE United States
JON HASSELL United States
JUKKA HAURU Finland
HEAD United Kingdom
HEADBAND Germany
PATRICK HEALY Canada
HEAVEN United Kingdom
DICK HECKSTALL-SMITH United Kingdom
HECTIC WATERMELON United States
RONNY HEIMDAL Norway
JONAS HELLBORG Sweden
A HELMET OF GNATS United States
EDDIE HENDERSON United States
ALEJANDRO HERRERA Argentina
JAKE HERTZOG United States
DAVID HINES United States
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH United Kingdom
HOOFFOOT Sweden
HORN Canada
HOWEVER United States
HUGHSCORE United Kingdom
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GARY HUSBAND United Kingdom
I KNOW YOU WELL MISS CLARA Indonesia
IBIS Sweden
ICARUS United Kingdom
ICEBERG Spain
ICONOCLASTA Mexico
IF United Kingdom
IGZIT-NINE Japan
IM┴N CALIFATO INDEPENDIENTE Spain
IMPACT FUZE Russia
IMPULS Czech Republic
INNER DRIVE Russia
INTRAVENUS Greece
IRON KIM STYLE United States
JOHN IRVINE United Kingdom
ISOTOPE United Kingdom
IZVIR Yugoslavia
RONALD SHANNON JACKSON United States
JAGA JAZZIST Norway
JAM CAMP United States
JAM IT! Russia
BENNY JANSSON Sweden
JARKA Spain
JAZZ PISTOLS Germany
JAZZ Q Czech Republic
JINETE AZUL Argentina
JENS JOHANSSON Sweden
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J▄ Hungary
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JUPU GROUP Finland
JUTRO Yugoslavia
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KLAN Poland
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KR╔ Venezuela
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THE LONELY BEARS Multi-National
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LUMINA Brazil
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M'Z France
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MAAD Italy
JOHN MACEY United States
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MAELSTROM United States
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MAHAGON Czech Republic
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MAHTRAK Brazil
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SEAN MALONE United States
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MANDRILL United States
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MICHAEL MANRING United States
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MAR DE ROBLES Chile
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MASS MEDIA Italy
MATERIAL United States
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MATS-MORGAN (BAND) Sweden
BENNIE MAUPIN United States
MCGILL MANRING STEVENS United States
SCOTT MCGILL United States
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN United Kingdom
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MECKI MARK MEN Sweden
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CARLO MEZZANOTTE & SYNTAXIS Italy
MISA MICEVSKI Serbia
RIGEL MICHELENA Venezuela
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THE MIDDLE-EARTH BAND Finland
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RADOMIR MIHAJLOVIC TOCAK Yugoslavia
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THE OWL WATCHES United States
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MIKI PETKOVSKI Yugoslavia
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PLACEBO Belgium
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PRISMA X Chile
PROBE 10 United States
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PSI Germany
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PSP (PHILLIPS SAISSE PALLADINO) Multi-National
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R-11 Italy
RA QUINTET United States
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RADIUS United Kingdom
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RAHMANN France
RAINS Italy
RANTAMA TRIO Finland
RAYUELA Argentina
THE REAL AX BAND Germany
REFORM Sweden
XAVI REIJA Spain
RELEASE MUSIC ORCHESTRA Germany
RENAISSANCE SOUND United States
RESIDENTS OF THE FUTURE Multi-National
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